Hippie, Inc.

A book about the misunderstood subculture that changed the way we live and generated billions of dollars in the process.

By Michael Klassen

About The Book


The story of Hippie, Inc. is a story about people, ordinary Americans with ordinary backgrounds, that is repeated within a portion of each new generation of young Americans who after reflecting on how they were taught and raised by their elders reject most of those teachings and “do their own thing.”

You are about to learn how a small group of young writers, artists, comedians, retailers, war veterans, and self-made millionaires, that included the grandson of a famous Texas fundamentalist preacher, the scion of a powerful political family, an Allis-Chalmers administrative assistant, an MIT-trained engineer, two former Eagle Scouts, a Korean War veteran awarded the Bronze Medal and Purple Heart for outstanding acts of bravery in combat, the great-grandniece of Leon Trotsky, a convicted jewel thief, three Nazi camp survivors, a hootenanny jug band player, an agriculture field researcher, a hot rod artist, a single-mom street-jeweler, an Olympian-level wrestler, a surfing magazine illustrator, a greeting card artist, two Harvard professors, the winners of the 1966 Alcoa Aluminum contest, and a son of the Mississippi Delta, became hippies and, with the assistance of a legendary American wild west saloon, the UC-Berkeley science library, the federal welfare program, and the CIA, forever changed American business.

About The Author

It took me seven years and dozens of interviews with original hippies – most now in their 70s and 80s – to fully understand the enormous impact the Haight-Ashbury hippie movement had on American commerce, and this may all be summarized in a single sentence.


Within a 100-week period that began on the night of November 27, 1965 and ended on the afternoon of October 6, 1967, a small group of young American adults who lived and operated in a hitherto non-descript San Francisco neighborhood (today, fondly called Haight-Ashbury) introduced around 40 innovative ideas and products that, over the last fifty years, have injected hundreds of billions of dollars and millions of jobs into the American economy.

I have been a committed scholar for over 30 years and, while I do not consider my book to be the final word about the complicated relationship between the hippies and capitalist enterprise, I will go to the mat defending the facts behind the stories that you are about to read. My best hope is that Hippie, Inc, will stimulate debate, educate, and, most of all, inspire future generations of America’s hippies to have the courage to do their own thing and lead their fellow citizens into the next era of entrepreneurship, innovation, and values-based business.

– Michael L. Klassen, Ph.D.

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